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Re: My Generation
At 10:24 PM 3/4/02 -0800, you wrote:
>I'm glad that my treatment of "My Generation" was well received. I've
>had a long and intimate relationship with that song.
>It was first released in 1965, and I still remember the first time I
>heard it. I was driving down Pacific Coast Highway, somewhere near
>LAX, when it came on the radio. I was so blown away by it that I had
>to pull the car over to the shoulder and park until it was over. I
>was an instant Who fan.
>The following year I was in my first "real" band, with paying gigs
>and all, and two of my bandmates had some folk musician friends name
>Sandy and Jeannie Darlington, who had been buskers in London and got
>to know Pete Townshend. Pete would sometimes send these folks dubs of
>his home demo tapes, and I got to hear versions of his new material
>before it was released. Imagine the thrill of hearing "I Can See for
>Miles" as recorded by Pete Townshend alone in his livingroom!
>In 1968 I had a particular thrill when our band was booked to open
>for the Who in the Boston Music Hall. They weren't particularly "big"
>yet, having just three albums out. They were traveling with only two
>roadies, one of them a short little cockney fellow named "Sweaty" and
>the other a young American lad who made sure we knew he was Jim
>Morrison's brother. Of the band members themselves, Pete and Roger
>Daltrey were quite sociable, while John Entwhistle and Keith Moon
>were aloof. What first broke the ice was that Pete noticed we'd been
>smoking joints and asked to buy our roaches (naturally we gave him
>whatever we had). Then we mentioned the Sandy and Jeannie connection
>and things got even more relaxed. We learned that they were working
>on a new rock opera about a deaf, dumb, and blind boy (they played
>"Pinball Wizard" that night). Also it happened that there was a
>feature story on Pete in the current Rolling Stone, and he paged
>through it making comments about the various photos in the spread
>("pensive," "earnest," that sort of thing). It got quite chummy. We
>even made plans for Pete and Roger to come out to our band house
>after the concert.
>That never happened. They'd been on the road too long, and Keith Moon
>was especially road-crazy. He'd been drinking already and by the time
>they got to their second set he was totally manic. When they reached
>the climactic destructo-rama bit where they'd smash up all the
>instruments, Keith went a few steps beyond theater and REALLY got
>into it. He started throwing his drums into the audience, and this
>incited a near-riot as fans tried to climb up on the stage. Sweaty
>was in the orchestra pit throwing drums back up on the stage and fans
>back into the audience. He had a lot of upper body strength for a
>little guy. Finally Keith staggered off the stage, kicking over our
>drummer's kit on the way, and smashed his hand through a window. He
>cut himself rather badly in the process, and since the band had a gig
>in Central Park in New York the following day, Pete begged off and
>they took care of Keith.
>I've seen the Who perform a couple of times since then, once doing
>Tommy in its entirety at the Boston Tea party and another time on a
>double bill with the Grateful Dead, but I never did get chummy with
>them like that night. My own musical career went on from rock to
>electronic music, and then in 1978 I learned of Keith Moon's death.
>My immediate impulse was to make a tape piece out of My Generation,
>accentuating the stuttering effects and highlighting Keith's manic
>drumming. Unfortunately my composition teacher had other ideas of how
>to further my compositional education and I put aside the idea - that
>is until last weekend!
>By the way - a few years ago I got ancient enough to join AARP
>(American Association of Retired Persons) and in addition to the
>hotel discounts and other benefits I was privileged (and embarrassed)
>to receive their monthly "Modern Maturity" magazine, which basically
>tells you how groovy it is to be old and in the way. Last year they
>must have figured out that this message wasn't quite coming across to
>the influx of new Boomer members, so they started a new magazine with
>a hipper style and message. The title: "My Generation"
>Richard Zvonar, PhD